LONDONDERRY — If it weren’t for six strangers jumping into action, Laurie Donofrio’s outcome might have been very different.
After Donofrio, 43, of Windham drove off Gilcreast Road and into Beaver Brook last month, six strangers risked their own lives to help. The six men pulled her from her black Toyota Camry and carried her to safety, all before first responders arrived.
Those men — Douglas Ball, Bernie Rouillard, Robert Maiella, Michael Eilliot, James Ornsteen and Craig Dempsey — received the Londonderry Police Department’s Civilian Commendation for Lifesaving With Valor honor during the department’s annual awards night May 6 at the police station.
The men were among dozens of police officers and civilians honored by police for their support of the department and commendable actions in the community.
“These men are the heroes in this call,” acting fire Chief Darren O’Brien said after the accident. “If it wasn’t for them, this would have been a significantly different outcome.”
Officer Rafael Ribeiro was officially sworn in during the police awards night. He recently graduated from the police academy and will now begin his field training.
Sgt. Adam Dyer was honored as Officer of the Year. The 11-year veteran of the force is the supervisor of the department’s Traffic Accident Reconstruction team and has won multiple awards during his tenure.
Civilian of the Year honors went to telecommunications operator Jason Pinault, a 12-year veteran of the police department. He has received this award before, along with numerous other honors.
Other awards presented included:
Meritorious Action honors during a December 2013 Citizens Bank robbery to Hudson police Officers Brian Morgan, Adam Lischinsky and dispatcher Sheri Macpherson; Off-duty lifesaving awards to Officers Daniel Hurley and Jason Teufel; Meritorious Service Commendations to Eric Arel and Jason Pinault; Distinguished Unit Citations to Sgt. Glenn Aprile, Detective Sean Doyle, Sgt. Shannon Coyle, officers Randy Duguay and Jason Teufel, Detective Christopher Olson and telecommunications operator Maria Schacht.
Sgt. Patrick Cheetham and Officers Shannon Sargent and Jake King earned honors for their efforts during a car fire in January on Mammoth Road. Civilian lifesaving honors for their efforts during the fire also went to Earl Wickline and Apryl Norris.
Distinguished Unit Citations for work during a drug investigation went to Sgt. Mark Morrision, Sgt. Shannon Coyle and Sgt. Adam Dyer and Detectives Scott Balukonis, Kristen Gore, Chris Olson, Donald LaDuke, Sean Doyle and Alvin Bettencourt.
Officer Christopher Wiggin earned a Letter of Commendation for his work on a welfare check last October to ensure the wel- being of a senior citizen.
Lt. Tim Jones presented the department’s first ever “Gumshoe of the Year” award to Detective Donald LaDuke.
LaDuke has served the Londonderry Police Department for more than 20 years and currently works as the department’s only juvenile detective.
“(The award) was created to recognize a detective that goes well above and beyond their responsibilities,” Jones said. “It also recognizes detectives that work hard to chase down every lead possible in all of their investigations, as well as other honorable attributes.”
The staff at Charles George Trucking received a community service honor for their support of the department and the donation of a ballistic shield.